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    Sunday, April 21, 2024

    H.S. boys’ lacrosse / 2024 preview capsules

    East Lyme’s Drew Sager (3) jumps as he attempts to score on Stonington during the Eastern Connecticut Conference boys’ lacrosse championship game last season at Waterford High School. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    In this 2021 file photo, Bacon Academy goalie Chase Goulet makes a save against East Lyme during a game in Colchester. (Day file photo)

    Following are the 2024 high school preview capsules for boys’ lacrosse:

    ECC

    Division I

    East Lyme

    Coach: Gary Wight (21st year)

    Key returnees: Sr. A Drew Sager; Sr. A Jack Campbell; Sr. M Aidan Patterson; Jr. M Juan Morales Jr.; Sr. M Luke Salan; Jr. M Jake Correia; Sr. D Spencer Kennedy; Sr. D Campbell Posgay; Sr. G Caleb Haylon; Sr. G Johnny Whewell.

    Top newcomers: Soph. A Gabe Hanney; Jr. M Jason Stahl; Fr. M Ryan Dueker; Fr. M Anthony DiLoreto; Fr. A Finn Bruno; Soph. M Alex Rindell; Sr. M Sebastian Graceson; Jr. M Wade Larson; Jr. D Johnny Harms; Soph. D Evan Bucko; Jr. D Alex Maksim; Fr. D Colin Dumond; Sr. D Rob Stoddard; Sr. D Emmett Dunne; Jr. M Brady Marvin; Soph. M Christian Wren; Soph. D Jake Bookmiller; Soph. D Owen Tapia; Soph. A Nate Socha; Soph. A Oliver Ginther; Soph. D Logan McPherson; Soph. D Tin Hui Cheng; Jr. D Sebastian Gjergjaj; Jr. M John Poirier; Soph. G Reggie Schwartz.

    Outlook: East Lyme returns what Wight calls “key leaders” on offense and defense. Sager, Campbell and Hanney return on offense; Kennedy, Posgay, Harms and Bucko on defense; Haylon and Whewell in goal; Patterson, Morales, Salan, Correia and Stahl in the midfield. As always, expectations are high for the region’s most storied boys’ lacrosse program.

    Fitch

    Coach: Scott Freyer (1st season)

    Key returnees: Sr. G Chase Beyus; Sr. M Boden Frost; Sr. A Tate Gordon; Sr. M Elijah Walters; Jr. A Roman Rich; Sr. D Matt Deichler; Sr. D Devon Edwards.

    Top newcomers: Jr. D Tommy Fraser, Fr. D TJ Frickman; Sr. D Dylan Beebe; Fr. F Gabe Pacheco; Soph. A Gabe Carey; Soph. A Kai Gordon; Jr. M Skyler Wilson.

    Outlook: Freyer comes to the Falcons after stints as an assistant at NFA and Mitchell College. Fitch went 10-7 last season with a trip to the second round of the playoffs and is, in Freyer’s words, “loaded on the offensive side of the ball,” with Frost, Walters and Gordon. Freyer said “defense will be key” for the Falcons to challenge for an ECC title and make a run in the state tournament. Edwards should help that, returning from an injury in 2022.

    NFA

    Coach: Mike Murphy (3rd year)

    Key returnees: Soph. A Conor Dempsey; Jr. A Cortlan Beetle; Sr. M Logan Jenkins; Sr. M Conor Gaughan; Sr. M C.J. Frank; Jr. M Wyatt Woodcock; Sr. G Luke Wotring; Jr. G Patrick Lawson; Sr. D Nick Winton; Sr. D Grady O'Dell; Jr. D Taegon Calouro.

    Top newcomers: Soph. A Gavin Jenkins; Soph. A Tristan Laney; Jr. M Jordan Legace; Jr. M David Sauer; Jr. M Nevan Manley; Sr. M Simon Loewenstein; Jr. M Mathew Zinewicz; Soph. D Ian Redanz; Jr. D Henry Raptis.

    Outlook: Murphy has some expectations for the Wildcats after getting them to the semifinals of the ECC tournament in 2023. The attack is still young but gained valuable experience. There is more midfield depth. Winton anchors the defense in front of a deep goalkeeping unit. The key, Murphy said, will be how well the newcomers develop and complement the veterans.

    Note: Woodstock Academy is also in the division.

    Division II

    Bacon Academy

    Coach: Brian Martin (11th season)

    Key returnees: Sr. M Avatar Disher; Sr. M Brady Gould; Sr. G Chase Goulet; Sr. M Grant Johnson; Sr. M Gabe Mahon; Sr. D Eric Prates; Jr. M Tanner Kundahl; Jr. M Gavin Shkutzko; Jr. D Zach Carroll; Jr. A Ethan LoVetere; Jr. A Jameson Pirro; Soph. M Talan Ladyga; Soph. M Brayden Ward.

    Top newcomers: Jr. D Madden Roderick; Jr. D Gavin Van Camp; Soph. M Stephen Stabach; Soph. M Colby Hlasyszyn; Soph. M/A Troy Johnson; Fr. M Jake Ashley; Fr. M Boden Paul.

    Outlook: The Bobcats finished second in ECC Division II, failed to qualify for the ECC tournament and lost in the first round of the Class S state tournament last season, “falling a little short of expectations,” Martin said. But a deep senior class offers hope for 2024, led by Goulet, an All-ECC goalie. Martin also likes the potential of attackmen LoVetere and Pirro.

    Ledyard/Griswold

    Coach: Mark Chmielewski (4th year)

    Key returnees: Sr. M Sean Harren; Sr. M Makai Moore; Jr. A Lucas Wannamaker; Jr. M Brian Johnson; Jr. M Cortland Ruggiero; Jr. D Logan Storz; Jr. D/M Eric Williams.

    Top newcomers: Soph. M Matthew Chan; Soph. D Collin Downs; Soph. A Arawn Makuchowski; Soph. A/M Jamie Drummond; Soph. M Robert Jackson; Soph. A Liam Humphry; Fr. A Nick Favaloro.

    Outlook: Chmielewski calls his Ledyard-Griswold co-op “a talented group of individuals that flow well together. These boys have a lot of heart and love the sport of lacrosse.”

    Montville

    Coach: Jon Ventresca (1st year)

    Key returnees: Jr. M Chris Baukus; Sr. D Jack Bubucis; Sr. M Gavin Delucia; Sr. D Armani Patterson; Sr. M Luis Salas; Sr. A Jayden Sherwood; Sr. A Calen VanVoorhies; Sr. M Colin Wahl; Sr. A Jacob Watson.

    Top newcomers: Soph. D Nick Ladia; Soph. A Kyle Ladia; Jr. M Preston Fort; Jr. M Logan Leonard; Soph. M Ethan Bryan.

    Outlook: Ventresca enters his first year with a “senior heavy roster,” and believes the Wolves can be competitive in the division. “We will need to rely on the experience of our seniors to carry us through the season and look for a few underclassmen to step into key roles,” he said. “We look forward to see what the season brings.”

    Stonington

    Coach: Conor Doyle (3rd season)

    Key returnees: Sr. G Andrew Whitman; Sr. D Justin Norton; Sr. M Cooper Lercara; Sr. M Ethan Mahoney; Sr. A Nate Mahoney; Sr. A Tyler Simao; Jr. D Maddox Massengale; Jr. M Cooper Light; Jr. A Maclan Griscom.

    Top newcomers: Sr. D William Johnson; Soph. D Ethan Greene; Fr. M Austin Center; Fr. A Nate Howard; Fr. M Brayden Landgren; Fr. A Josh McBain; Fr. M Nolen Neale; Fr. M Kyle Olsson; Fr. G Thomas O'Rourke; Fr. M Logan Rollins; Fr. M Cole Scahill; Fr. D Byron Stillman.

    Outlook: The Bears lost The Day’s All-Area Player of the Year Cam Elenteny to graduation as well as the experience of Will French and Ben Massengale, among others. But there’s plenty back, led by Whitman, an outstanding goalie. “A strong returning core will keep our team highly competitive in the ECC and Class S,” Doyle said. “We will be looking for some of the younger guys to make immediate impacts on the field.”

    St. Bernard/Wheeler

    Coach: David Howes (5th year)

    Key returnees: Sr. M Noah Courter; Jr. G Johannes Zachhuber; Jr. A Benjamin Howes; Jr. M Mark Sauchuk; Jr. D Bode Brenek; Jr. A Will Sluggett; Jr. A Zack Zickmann; Jr. D Ezra Stebbins; Sr. M Lucas Ranelli; Jr. D Elic Lebron; Sr. G Jason O'Donnell; Sr. M JP Peck; Jr. M Jon Carlos Burgos.

    Top newcomers: Soph. D Maddox Roan; Soph. M Jimmy Niles.

    Outlook: There is excitement around a program with six seniors, 13 juniors and a freshmen class of 10. “We’re returning a strong group of athletes and are excited for the season,” Howes said. “We are looking forward to competing in the ECC and to playing in the CIAC tournament this year.”

    Waterford

    Coach: Paul Deon (4th season)

    Key returnees: Sr. D Dom Hedge; Sr. D Paul Deon Jr.; Sr. M Griffin Neal; Sr. M Xavier Del Grosso; Jr. M Rowan Gada; Jr. D Miles Gada; Jr. M Porter Watson; Soph. M Ben Dubicki; Soph. A Johan Deon; Soph. G Thomas Tattersall.

    Top newcomers: Jr. M Cole Baumgartner; Jr. D Julian Secchiaroli; Jr. A Ethan Stelik; Soph. A Avery Bonewicz; Sr. D Juan Morel; Soph. M Alex Bousquet; Jr. G Darien Sherwood; Jr. A Braeden Wheeler; Jr. M Mason Nocery; Jr. D Carlos Antonelli; Jr. A Sawyer Murray; Soph. M Jameson Smith; Sr. D Cole Kempke; Fr. M Malachi Hall.

    Outlook: Deon says some younger players will have to step up and fill spots due to graduation. “This is no different than any other year,” Deon said. “I have a great group of guys that will go out and be very competitive.”

    Others

    Old Lyme

    Coach: George Hudson (6th year)

    Key returnees: Jr. A Mason Bussman; Sr. G Brodie Lippincott; Sr. M Macklin Cushman; Sr. D Jackson Bullock; Soph. D Lucian Tracano; Soph. D Coleman Curtiss-Reardon.

    Top newcomers: Fr. M Alex Krohl; Fr. A Charlie Halsey; Fr. D Charlie Zelle; Fr. A Mike Millerik.

    Outlook: Hudson says he is looking forward to the season. “We are looking strong this year with a lot of new faces that are stepping up in a big way,” he said. “Looking to make some noise in the Shoreline Conference and in states.”

    Williams

    Coach: Mark Fader (7th season)

    Key returnees: Sr. M Brendan Li; Sr. A Tyler Gagliardi; Sr. D Dylan Polidori; Jr. G Henry Gallagher; Jr. D Robby Shay; Jr. M Brian Li; Jr. A Finn McCann; Jr. A Marc Macera; Soph. M Henry Champagne; Jr. M Baker Katko.

    Top newcomers: Soph. M Lance Jastremski; Sr. M Bryce Bennhoff; Sr. M Thanasi Georgiadis; Jr. D Leo Fowler.

    Outlook: The Blues are coming off consecutive HVAL championship seasons. Fader has Li, last year’s returning scorer (and Hampden-Sydney commit) back as well as Gagliardi. Gallagher, an all-league goalie, will use a defense led by Polidori and Shay. The Blues have a challenging schedule, playing teams from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York.

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